Wedding Music


#1

Is there a list available of Catholic music that can be played during a wedding?


#2

Your best bet is to inquire from the parish where you are being asked to play. Some parishes forbid the playing of any secular music, including the traditional Wagner processional and Mendelssohn recessional; some are not so strict.


#3

I suggest the Propers of the Mass along with any traditional offertory and communion motets. Nice, theocentric hymns, or perhaps Marian hymns, can be sung at the procession and recession. Or, alternatively, instrumentals (such as organ music) can accompany the procession and recession. I find organ pieces to be particularly popular for wedding processions.


#4

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:3, topic:316946"]
I suggest the Propers of the Mass along with any traditional offertory and communion motets. Nice, theocentric hymns, or perhaps Marian hymns, can be sung at the procession and recession. Or, alternatively, instrumentals (such as organ music) can accompany the procession and recession. I find organ pieces to be particularly popular for wedding processions.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#5

[quote="Elizabeth779, post:1, topic:316946"]
Is there a list available of Catholic music that can be played during a wedding?

[/quote]

For our daughters wedding we hired the vocalist (who is also our music director) and organist who celebrate Mass with us each Sunday. That pretty much tool care of that.

DGB


#6

There is not a conclusive list and different parishes have different rules about what they consider acceptable. If you want a particular song for the procession or recession and it will be entirely instrumental, you can often get a little more flexability, though the parish should still require that the music be sacred in nature and arranged in a way that is appropriate for the sacredness of the Mass. Most parishes do not allow prerecorded music at all. Wedding and funeral music can be a touchy subject so most parishes have a contact person who is supposed to approve musical selections. If the OP is asking about a specific situation, you should probably speak to such a person at the parish where the wedding will take place.


#7

I think you could easily just pick mostly songs that fit in with a normal mass. You could easily just take the missalette and pick songs that you like. Although I would think that the church would provide you with a listing of songs as well. If you want a Latin flair you can obviously do some research online for some good hymns (since most missalettes these days don't have any Latin songs).


#8

[quote="DoGodsBidding, post:5, topic:316946"]
For our daughters wedding we hired the vocalist (who is also our music director) and organist who celebrate Mass with us each Sunday. That pretty much tool care of that.

DGB

[/quote]

In many parishes on ly the parish organist is allowed th play the organ for weddings, funerals, and special events.


#9

[quote="Phemie, post:2, topic:316946"]
Your best bet is to inquire from the parish where you are being asked to play. Some parishes forbid the playing of any secular music, including the traditional Wagner processional and Mendelssohn recessional; some are not so strict.

[/quote]

ALL parishes are supposed to forbid all of the aforementioned. I would add Canon in D to the list of banned wedding music.


#10

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:9, topic:316946"]
ALL parishes are supposed to forbid all of the aforementioned. I would add Canon in D to the list of banned wedding music.

[/quote]

I understand the logic of the original pieces being nixed (not sure whether or not I agree with it)...but whats the logic behind the ban on Canon? :confused:


#11

[quote="mburn16, post:10, topic:316946"]
I understand the logic of the original pieces being nixed (not sure whether or not I agree with it)...but whats the logic behind the ban on Canon? :confused:

[/quote]

I'm pretty sure Canon in D is not banned.


#12

As much I do not like Wagner or Mendolssohn in church, there is no no specific ban list from the Church itself. Individual bishops are certainly free to do so, and some do. But not all do.


#13

[quote="GraceUnderFire, post:11, topic:316946"]
I'm pretty sure Canon in D is not banned.

[/quote]

From what I understand, it isn't because it is considered "absolute music" - having no secular or sacred connotation. The reason why the Wagner, Mendelssohn and other works associated with works like musicals, operas, ballets, etc. is because they have a secular connotation by nature of being associated with the above. If, for instance, the Mendelssohn was written just as an organ piece to be played as a postlude and not as the ending for his ballet, it would have fallen under the "absolute music" category.

It is true, though, that some parishes allow music which is completely inappropriate for liturgy. Right now I'm dealing with this where the guest priest was suggesting to the couple using actual songs from musicals for during communion. I had to carefully and kindly advise the couple against it. Although the priest was allowing this music, it would be more fitting to use something that corresponds with what is actually happening during that part of the mass. So, I suggested works that were appropriate for communion. I'm keeping my fingers crossed they will go with something I suggested and not something from "Phantom of the Opera" or "Fiddler on the Roof".


#14

[quote="Elizabeth779, post:1, topic:316946"]
Is there a list available of Catholic music that can be played during a wedding?

[/quote]

You can see what is permitted at your parish, but I can also give you a list of what most of the parishes I've worked in have used. I used to work at a cathedral who were very strict about following everything in terms of music to a "t", so if I can find that sheet (from my wedding), I'll send that over to you as well.


#15

There is considerable grey area. One frequently-used example is the processional from The Sound of Music. Other movies also have composed wedding marches. And some secular or even pagan things, its worth pointing out, have been absorbed as appropriate for the Church.

This is actually the issue I take with the ban on the above-mentioned works. Yes, they started as opera works. And Christmas trees started as a pagan practice. If one can be absorbed as appropriate for Christianity, why not the other?


#16

I agree with you in regards to the above, although it can take years. Polyphony, for instance, was a secular style of music before it was refined and rendered appropriate for liturgy. The processional from “The Sound of Music”, I agree, is one of those things where people have given the green light to, but, having done Catholic weddings in 100+ parishes, numerous dioceses and in 8 different states, more often than not, even that is not permitted because it came from a musical and is still associated with the musical.

I think that is where the difference lies. Most people don’t associate the Christmas tree with a pagan practice anymore. Most people don’t realize that the “Ode to Joy” or other hymns were once melodies for drinking songs in the taverns. Perhaps there will be a day when many people won’t know that the Mendlessohn was from a ballet or that the Wagner was from an opera, but it’s almost always described as such in wedding music samplers or in wedding magazines. (I loved it when wedding magazines were suggesting non-sacred music for Catholic weddings, or suggesting completely inappropriate music such as “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Handel’s “Rinaldo”. I realized, then, where these brides were getting their ideas from.) I do know that everyone who wants the “Sound of Music” processional knows it’s from the musical.

Now, I’m actually not as much of a stickler when it comes to most instrumental music. I do believe there is more wiggle room when it comes to it because of associations and differences between “absolute music”, “sacred music” and “secular music”. Vocal music is a completely different story because you have the words to contend with. “One Hand, One Heart”… you know it’s from “West Side Story”. “All I Ask of You”… you know it’s from “The Phantom of the Opera”, just to pick out a couple really popular pieces couple try to get a pass for their weddings. Because I do this for a living, I have to know all of the rules, even the most strict ones, because I’m not always aware of how conservative or liberal a certain priest or parish is. The other thing, too, is that I do want to do things the right way when it comes to liturgy.

Another thing. Colleagues of mine who lived through the transition in the 60s, 70s and 80s in our diocese relayed to me that the real problems with Wagner and Mendelssohn marches began then. Before that, many people used them for their weddings and there were no problems with it. When there was a change in music and more “secular-sounding” music was brought in… things that sounded more like Simon and Garfunkel or Peter, Paul and Mary… the more traditionalist, classical musicians fought it, saying that only sacred/religious music could be used. The other side countered then, that if that was the case, then they shouldn’t be using instrumental music from operas or ballets. Just because it was classical music, didn’t mean it was appropriate. If people wanted to follow the rules to a “t”, then they were right, so many parishes (at least in our diocese) began to ban them and any instrumental music that had secular connotations.


#17

When I married a few years ago, I was gently but firmly told that an instrumental version of a beautiful secular love song was not appropriate for the processional of my Catholic wedding. I acquiesced without argument. Recently I went to a Catholic wedding in another parish and was bewildered to hear "With Your Love" by Journey as the processional. If there are traditions that aren't really rules, they shouldn't, in my opinion, be presented as rules. While my wedding was beautiful and my marriage is a blessings and while I wish this other couple blessings as well, I couldn't help feeling like a chump as I sat in that pew and listened to "With Your Love.":confused:


#18

[quote="Many_Blessings, post:17, topic:316946"]
When I married a few years ago, I was gently but firmly told that an instrumental version of a beautiful secular love song was not appropriate for the processional of my Catholic wedding. I acquiesced without argument. Recently I went to a Catholic wedding in another parish and was bewildered to hear "With Your Love" by Journey as the processional. If there are traditions that aren't really rules, they shouldn't, in my opinion, be presented as rules. While my wedding was beautiful and my marriage is a blessings and while I wish this other couple blessings as well, I couldn't help feeling like a chump as I sat in that pew and listened to "With Your Love.":confused:

[/quote]

What is appropriate and what is allowed do not always correlate 100%. It's up to the bishop or to the pastor to determine what is allowed; if one allows something inappropriate and the other doesn't, which side would you rather be on?


#19

[quote="Many_Blessings, post:17, topic:316946"]
When I married a few years ago, I was gently but firmly told that an instrumental version of a beautiful secular love song was not appropriate for the processional of my Catholic wedding. I acquiesced without argument. Recently I went to a Catholic wedding in another parish and was bewildered to hear "With Your Love" by Journey as the processional. If there are traditions that aren't really rules, they shouldn't, in my opinion, be presented as rules. While my wedding was beautiful and my marriage is a blessings and while I wish this other couple blessings as well, I couldn't help feeling like a chump as I sat in that pew and listened to "With Your Love.":confused:

[/quote]

First, the pastor of the church has the right to lay down rules that might be more restrictive than what is universally applicable, and in many cases these questions involve judgments of quality and taste, so "the rules" are not going to be identical throughout the world. Second, in this case, your priest was (mostly) right: completely secular music is not appropriate for the liturgy. I say "mostly" because some instrumental music -- Handel's Water Music or a Bach prelude, for example -- is secular in the sense that it is not religious, but under almost anybody's definition would be appropriate as an instrumental processional. Appropriate music should not invoke strictly secular or worldly associations as a pop song would.

There is no need to feel like a chump in this case. A parallel situation to yours would be: "I asked my parents if I could skip school to go to the concert, but they said no. I felt like a real chump when I heard that Jenny's dad had let her play hooky and go."


#20

Well, I’d rather be on the side where I’m not played for a fool and made a chump of? Which side is that?


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